Multi-sensory marketing and branding are about using the senses to relate to customers on an emotional level. As Mohamed Dabo reports, the technique has been shown to enhance customer experience and increase consumer loyalty.
Sensory marketing is a type of marketing that aims to influence consumers by using techniques that stimulate the senses. More than any other type of marketing, it mobilises feelings, thoughts, and beliefs to influence a brand’s perception in the customer’s mind.
The senses refer, of course, to those sensory functions or mechanisms (such as sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch) by which we respond to both internal and external stimuli. Colours, Sounds, images, smell, and even taste affect the way the target audiences think of the brand.
Informing Vs Affecting
Traditional marketing is largely based on the science of communication. Assuming a rational consumer, its method is to inform, educate, and generally raise awareness about some product or service.
While sensory marketing does not exclude those strategies, its main focus is the consumer’s emotions. It appeals, above all, to the sensorial, emotional, behavioural, cognitive, and relational aspect of the consumer’s life.
“Multi-sensory marketing or branding isn’t a new idea,” said Kate Nightingale, a consumer psychologist and expert in the field. “Scientists have conducted research on the subject for decades; and many corporate, retail and hospitality companies have applied, if not all, at least some of this knowledge to build stronger and more meaningful relationships with their consumers.”
Human perception is not shaped by sight alone, as some old-time marketers seemed to think. And the more senses a promotional activity uses to reach its audience, the more success it can achieve. Indeed, engaging all the senses makes for a more memorable brand.
Some studies have shown that brand impact increase by more than 70% when more than three senses are activated.
As a rule, multi-sensory messages are not just more memorable, they tend to be more enjoyable as well. Research has shown that by combining this method with a memorable brand identity, the odds of repeat business increase significantly.